I always enjoy listening to Michael Campbell’s Moneytalks show on Saturday mornings. He’s very good. However, today I heard an ad from an investment advisor who is a regular advertiser. The advisor said with great confidence and authority, “now is not the time to buy and hold”.

I couldn’t disagree more.

If you buy great companies at fair prices there should be no reason to sell. In fact if there’s a general market sell off that causes a downturn in the price of a great company it’s not a trigger to sell, it’s a trigger to buy more!

Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett’s mentor, says in his book The Intelligent Investor, “the real money in investment will have to be made – as most of it has been in the past – not out of buying and selling but of owning and holding securities, receiving interest and dividends and increases in value.”

Now that is good advice!

The master who trained the master.

Class 1 and 2 Truths

June 15, 2013

I am reading The Snowball by Alice Schroeder. It is an excellent read about Warren Buffett.

Buffett’s mentor Benjamin Graham had a concept called Class 1 and Class 2 Truths.

A Class 1 Truth is an absolute truth, like the intrinsic value of a company. A Class 2 Truth becomes a truth by conviction, or what people believe to be the worth of a company.

If enough people believed a company to be worth X then it was worth X until enough people thought otherwise. All of this did not affect a company’s intrinsic value.

Where a Class 2 Truth view of a company’s value is less than its Class 1 Truth there may be an opportunity for substantial gains to the investor.

In other words, buy companies that are trading at less than they’re really worth.

Harder said than done!